Sermon Commentary Library

Our weekly sermon commentaries are Lectionary-based, which across its three-year cycle, encompass a vast array of biblical texts. Filter the Sermon Commentary Library to search Scripture texts by book and chapter to find commentary, illustrations, and reflections to spark ideas.

Looking for something else? View our Heidelberg Catechism sermon resources and our Reformed Connections to the RCL section that traces Lectionary texts to specific parts of the Heidelberg Catechism and the Belgic Confession.

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1 Corinthians 1:18-31 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 4A

A number of years ago The Christian Century invited theologians, pastors and other Christian leaders to attempt to succinctly summarize the gospel. It asked them to proclaim its good news in just seven words, and then expand on their summary in a few sentences. The November 29, 2011 edition of the Century published some of…

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Micah 6:1-8 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 4A

For some years I co-taught a Bible course on the prophets with one of my colleagues from the Old Testament division at Calvin Seminary.  My main task in that course was to talk about how to preach from the Prophets and then to grade a sermon the students write on a passage from Micah.  Somewhat…

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Matthew 5:1-12 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 4A

According to Matthew, this isn’t Jesus’s first sermon, but it is the first one that Matthew records. Jesus is in Galilee, preaching, teaching, and healing, and drawing crowds from all over—mostly of the sick and those in need of healing. Imagine the people and their needs that Jesus has encountered—both those who he healed, and…

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Psalm 15 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 4A

In the Gospel sermon commentary for this Year A Sunday we are directed to think of who we are supposed to be as reflected in Jesus’s Beatitudes in Matthew 5.  As theologians and biblical commentators have noted for centuries, if we want to know who we are to be like in order to fit inside…

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Psalm 27:1, 4-9 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 3A

C.S. Lewis said somewhere that when you add it all up and consider it all together, in the end we would find that our prayer life is also our autobiography. Who we are, where we’ve been, the situations we’ve faced, the fears that nag us, and not a few of the core characteristics of who…

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Isaiah 9:1-4 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 3A

The Common Lectionary’s choice to cut off this reading at verse 4 feels artificial.  It’s like asking someone to break off singing midway through verse 2 of “Joy to the World.”  It doesn’t work.  You both want to finish the song and anyway you hear the song finish up in your head even if you…

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Matthew 4:12-23 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 3A

Depending on what you preached last week, these two weeks of Lectionary passages from different gospels may leave you with some explaining to do—particularly if you made a big deal about the calling narrative of Andrew and Peter last week! For here we are again, in a new geographical setting, hearing about them becoming disciples…

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1 Corinthians 1:10-18 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 3A

This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson brings to mind the novelist William Faulkner’s lament about the post-Civil War American South: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It also in some ways resonates with the historian and philosopher George Santayana’s “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” If Christians didn’t know…

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Isaiah 49:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Epiphany 2A

In the Servant Songs in this part of Isaiah the Lord God alternates speaking with the Servant himself also making remarks or comments.  In this passage we hear from both the God who pre-ordained the Servant long before he was born and from the Servant himself.  From God’s side we get high-flying confidence.  From the…

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